Choose Your Side in Kansas City’s Great Donut War

A row of donuts in kansas city waiting to be eaten

Growing up, my favorite day of the week was Saturday. I would walk hand-in-hand with my grandfather to a local bakery filled with scents of sugar, almonds, vanilla, and yeast. My grandfather would hold my sticky little hand on the way home with my face covered with remnants of jelly and powdered sugar.

The Kansas City donut scene feeds the needs of my inner child. From classic glazed goodies served in mom-and-pop shops to funky flavors displayed in Insta-worthy cases, eating donuts in Kansas City is a culinary experience like no other. We’ve found the moistest, butteriest, a-glaze-ing donuts KC has to offer.

#8. Jack’s Donuts

2400 S Lees Summit Road, Independence, MO | (816) 461-7424 | Facebook

After a brief closure in 2020, Jack’s is once again open and ready to serve up doughy delights. The only reason Jack’s landed in our 8th position is its location. The shop is a bit of a drive from Kansas City. Worth it? Yes. The donuts are airy, light, and took the top spot in a blind tasting conducted by Kansas City Magazine for good reason. Kansas City Magazine’s top pick is Jack’s classic glazed or chocolate Long John. Our pick? Donut holes.

Order: Donut holes—bite-sized treats of pillowy goodness that will melt in your mouth

#7. Incahoots Coffee & Donuts

100 S Main Street, Parkville, MO | incahootsparkville.com

There’s nothing like a day trip to Parkville. If you are walking around the historic Main Street district and run across an a-dough-rable old, red caboose, stop what you’re doing and check it out. Incahoots is on our list of best places for coffee in Kansas City but they also make a delicious cake-style donut. The donuts are homemade and they usually have around ten flavors displayed to choose from.

Order: Old-fashioned donut drizzled with chocolate glaze

#6. Donutology

1009 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO | 816-298-5222 | donutology.com

Donutology caters to all seeking donuts in Kansas City. They serve vegan, gluten-free, and fun flavors like cookie monster and fruit puff—a donut top with cereal bits. Donutology’s “make-your-own menu” is the real gem here. It brings a dash of creativity to the donut-eating process. A little tip: HITIDES Coffee serves Donutology donuts, and they have several exclusive flavors. The pineapple glazed donut is my favorite.

Order: The Cinnamon roll. I know it’s not a donut, but it’s so good! If you’re not into cinnamon rolls, the apple fritter is also *chef’s kiss*.

#5. KC Fresh Donuts

5557 NW Barry Road, Kansas City, MO | 816-332-1273 | Instagram

Donut let the generic “donut” sign fool you. This place is as legit as it comes. If you’re in the Northland, stop by for fresh donuts ready at the top of every half-hour. The donuts are light and fluffy, and their sausage Kolache is perfect if you want something a touch more savory. But the real winner? KC Fresh’s locally famous cronuts.

Order: A Cronut

#4. Hana’s

2131 S 34th Street, Kansas City, KS | 913-362-0244 | Facebook

For those hankering for donuts in the 913, Hana’s should be your first stop. Inside, you will find a colorful display of perfectly decorated, and yummy donut treats with flavors like maple Long John, peanut butter, orange zest, and apple fritter.

Order: The chocolate glazed Long John will have you raring to go down in a glaze of glory.

#3. Johnny’s Donuts

4424 Prospect Ave, Kansas City, MO | 816-921-5012 | Facebook

It’s easy to drive on by this unassuming shop, but you would be missing one of Kansas City’s unique culinary experiences: a donut cheeseburger. While I wasn’t brave enough to test my body’s resilience to sugar mixed with saturated fat, I was brave enough to try a bite of glazed, a smidge of Long John, and a nibble of a twister. Happiness. That’s all I have to say. Happiness. Johnny’s Donuts is old fashion goodness.

Order: Bring cash and order a chocolate glazed Long John, one of the best donuts in Kansas City.

#2. LaMar’s

3395 Main Street, Kansas City, MO | 816-561-7176 | lamars.com

LaMar’s has earned its spot as the King of KC donuts. They’ve invested in this blessed town since 1960, serving up fresh donuts baked in-store daily. The yeast-based, glazed donut is perfection. It’s buttery and perfectly glazed. It’s not heavy, oily, or too sweet. It’s a balanced, delicious, and classically made donut based on a recipe that has remained unchanged for 90 years.

At LaMar’s, you will also find a wide variety of cake-based and specialty donuts, including cinnamon rolls, German chocolate knots, old-fashioned sour cream, Bavarian cream, and donuts stuffed with blueberry filling.

If you’re craving a tasty glazed disc of deliciousness, you will have no trouble finding a LaMar’s. They serve up 17.9 million donuts per year via their two stores in KCMO as well as locations throughout Kansas and Missouri with franchises in Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska.

Order: A classic, glazed donut

#1. Donut King: The Best Donuts in Kansas City

2320 Armour Road, North Kansas City, MO | 816-472-1412 | donutkingkc.com

Since 1969, the Donut King has kept KC fed. They currently do so from 5 AM until 9 PM (10 PM on weekends) 7 days per week. They serve cake and yeast-raised donuts plus mouthwatering goodies like cronuts, bismarcks, cinnamon rolls, and kolaches, but it’s their cake doughnut that takes the cake. Tip: If you visit between 2 and 5 PM, you can snag a Happy Hour special which includes a donut and small coffee for $2.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Donut King (@donutking2320kc)

Order: Their seasonal cake donuts are delightful!

Honorable Mentions

While the shops below didn’t make our top eight, they are worth a mention and a taste.

Rise and Grind

504 Armour Road, North Kansas City, MO | 816-800-4082 | Instagram

Rise and Grind is a new baker in North Kansas City. They opened in late July to a sold-out weekend, and they’ve remained steady since. They didn’t make the list of “best donuts in Kansas City” because they don’t serve donuts. They serve danishes. And they are delicious.

Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffee Spot

Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffee Spot is another option for our vegan donut lovers. Mud Pie’s mini vanilla chocolate donuts are a menu stable. It’s a cake-based donut covered in chocolate ganache with a splash of rainbow sprinkles.

So tell me, KC donut is your favorite?